5 Cheap and Easy Kids Birthday Party Ideas

You’ve sent out the invites, made the decorations, found the sustainable party plates now you just have to work out what to do with a heap of pumped up party goers for a couple of hours.

Here’s a couple of ideas to keep the troops happy and occupied without breaking the bank.

Craft Stations
I find having a table in a quiet spot with a craft activity like make your own party hat or just some colouring sheets really helps kids who need to check out the scene first and warm up before they go in with gusto. And in the afternoon when the wheels start to fall off it’s nice to direct them to the craft table for a bit of chill time.

Old School
Three legged race, egg and spoon, sack race, limbo, musical statues, all timeless classics for a reason. The kids love them and you can create a game with nothing more than spoons and eggs, or a pair of old tights or even a broom. Plus, the games don’t just have to be for the kids. When was the last time you entered an egg and spoon race? Personally, I would love to race against a level field with an egg and spoon in hand! Anyone for a three-legged race? Why not make it Dads and Daughters? Some of my favourite memories are of attending parties where after the kids had their fun it was the mum’s and dad’s turn to step up for a sack race or water balloon competition.

Can Knockdown
Here is the simplest game which we had so much fun with before, during and after our last party. Find twelve tin cans, cover them in newspaper or decorative paper, stack them up, find a ball and knock em down. Hours of entertainment.

Last year I scouted around the second hand shops and bought any knick knacks I could find like jewellery, wallets, small books that would appeal to boys and girls. I then wrapped them up in newspaper and put them in my ‘lucky dip’ box which was a decorated cardboard box I got from the supermarket. Once the kids found out the prize was a lucky dip the competition became fierce and the excitement was huge when they won. This is something I will definitely do again.

For Master Mayhem’s second birthday I scouted four large cardboard boxes from the supermarket and painted them cream and red then added a few details to make it look like a train (wish I had taken a photo but forgot!) I put a hat in the front that looked a bit like a train drivers hat and crossed my fingers he and his little mates would like it. In the end I was surprised how much they did love it as they imagined themselves chugging around while sitting in a cardboard box!

More props – A lot of my inspiration comes from Lindsey over at Filth Wizardry who comes up with brilliant ideas like how to make your own pirate sword out of newspaper. This was a huge hit at a pirates and princess party we had however for our last birthday party both Miss Logical and Master Mayhem had moved onto Star Wars. Check out below how I adapted the sword to a lightsaber.

Newspaper Lightsaber
You will need: Newspaper, a cardboard tube, sticky tape, textas, paint.

1. As outlined on Filth Wizardry fold your newspaper over, then roll up tightly but rather than make a loop for a pirate sword fold up and stick the newspaper to the top to make a thicker handle.

2. Grab another piece of newspaper and fold it in half, in half again and in half again, this is going to form a thicker handle to put inside your roll. Wrap this around the base of your lightsaber and wrap some sticky tape around the bottom to attach.

3. Insert the fat base of the lightsaber into your cardboard tube. (I found that an inner tube from baking paper cut in half works best as it is a bit longer but toilet rolls will also work you may just have to use a bit more newspaper to make a fatter base to fit inside). I added a bit of masking tape around the base for reinforcement and also to cover the sticky tape to make for easier painting.

4.) The lightsaber is complete, now for the fun bit of decorating! There are different meanings to certain colours of the Jedi’s lightsaber but if I went into them I would sound like a total dork so let’s just say I settled with a neutral green so there were no fights. The only real detail I put on there was a big red button to turn it on and off but go crazy with whatever you want!

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